“Back of Book” Summary:
Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, twenty- six, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventure,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit. Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive-until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl–as moment by moment, the terrifying threat Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.
It has been suggested many times over the years that I read a Dean Koontz book. Master of horror he is indeed. Intensity was scary. This book didn’t so much explore the psychology of the killer, but of the victim. The concept of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes your stronger’ is applicable to the main character Chyna Shepherd. The survival tactics learned as a child of an abusive mother were used to keep her alive and even fright back against the psychopath Edgler Foreman Vess.
The story started off fast paced and continued to stay that way throughout the entire book. I think a lot of authors would have dragged some of the scenes out longer. I thought just the opposite of the ending. Once the main characters survived death the book should have ended, and it would have been a great ending. Instead Koontz devoted several pages to making sure the book had a happy ending and so we could feel all warm and fuzzy inside after such a scary story. The ending was awful. The book has 12 chapters, I suggest you only read 11 of them. This is a fantastic horror story that would deserve a 4 Feather rating had the ending not been so horrible. Regardless, I do recommend this book. Intensity is one of the scariest stories I’ve ever read.